/09 Adolescence

Lydia Panas

The Mark of Abel

Our earliest relationships factor considerably in determining whom we turn out to be.

For three years, in hot and cold weather, I invited families of various forms to stand before my lens. I asked them not because I knew what to expect, but because I was curious to see what would happen.

These groups and occasional individuals stood graciously before me. I watched how they arranged themselves and then began to photograph them with my view camera.

In these pictures of family relationships, the details matter most. Although they portray engaging people, verdant landscapes and beautiful light, the photographs also provide more subtle clues for understanding the nature of my work.

These images depict specific people, but they go beyond portraits to explore universal questions of how we see ourselves and what we feel. The pictures ask that we look deeper than the surface for what lies underneath: that complex part of our own personalities we often don't see.